Tuesday, June 26, 2007

American Justice: 148 - A Son's Confession

"A Son's Confession" is airing on Thursday, June 28. Check your local listings for the time, but for EDT, the times are 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. This story again re-emphasizes the cold, hard reality that innocent people do confess to crimes they did not commit.

Maurice J. Sponzo, the Judge who was so instrumental in reversing Peter Reilly's conviction for the murder of his mother, died last week. Sponzo criticized "state police and Litchfield County prosecutors for focusing on Reilly without investigating other possible suspects." The moral of the story is for investigators to spend their time, energy, and resources following leads, rather than coercing confessions.

Sponzo, who served as a one-man grand jury in an investigation that cleared Peter Reilly in the 1973 slaying of his mother, Barbara Gibbons, died Wednesday. He was 92.

Reilly confessed to the slaying after intense interrogation by state police and the 18-year-old was later convicted of first-degree manslaughter. Reilly recanted the confession while serving a six- to 16-year prison sentence.

Barbara Gibbons' murder remains unsolved.

Read more . . .

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